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Difference Between Compact Fluorescent (CFL) Grow Lights & T5 Fluorescent Grow Lights

Fluorescent Grow lights mainly come in 2 different types; Compact Fluorescent (CFL) & T5 Fluorescents. In our opinion, T5 grow lights are simpler to set up and operate ultra efficiently. T5 bulbs also have an extended life span compared to CFL’s but they do require a T5 ballast.

Is Fluorescent Light Good for Plants?

Due to their low heat, less intensive and full spectrum light emitting capabilities, Fluorescent Grow Lights are a great choice for propagation. They perform particularly well for cloning, seedlings and young plants. Because Fluorescent tubes are smaller, they cut down significantly on electricity costs.

For cultivators that are trying to grow the biggest plants achievable, Fluorescent Grow Lights are a great way to get your grow started and then switching to LED or CMH grow lights.

How far should Fluorescent Grow Lights be from plants

Simple Answer! 4 to 6 inches. Due to their low heat, lower intensity (than HID & LED Grow Lights) output, you can hang your fixtures as close as 4-5 inches from your plant and raise them as your plants grow. We recommend a maximum height of 12” inches above your plants

Led Vs Fluorescent Grow Lights

If youre growing in a smaller confined space like a closet or even a smaller, Grow Tent, Fluorescent Grow Lights are your best choice as you can hang these lights closer to your plants than LED or HID Grow Lights. Due to your smaller space which generally have smaller plants, T5 and CFL lights are a simple economic solution. If you do intend on growing larger plants, LED Grow Lights are a recommended solution, as they will spread the light and permeate the canopy better. Also, if budget is a factor, Fluorescent Grow Lights are generally much cheaper than Led Grow Lights.

How many hours a day should you leave your Grow Lights on?

Simple Answer! During Veg -18 hours. The general rule of thumb is 18 hours of light followed by 6 hours of darkness. Most growers follow this rule of thumb, although we have also seen some growers report excellent growth from a 24-hour exposure.

We recommend a 12/12 cycle if your plants are in flower.

Questions or Comments?  

We hope we have answered any questions you have on Fluorescent Light Bulbs. Still having trouble figuring out the right bulb for your grow? Please visit our learning center and read our post on the best T5 Grow Lights or reach out to the experts at that can answer your questions and provide you with a quote. Here at we strive to be a one stop shop for all your gardening needs and also have some fantastic pricing packages for commercial growers to help maximize your profits, so please email or call us at 866 GRO INDR

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